Sonos is betting massive on spatial audio with the $450 Period 300 speaker | Hotline Tech

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For the previous few years, Sonos has centered most of its efforts on two classes: moveable audio system, just like the Transfer and Roam; and residential theater merchandise just like the inexpensive Ray and fancier Atmos-compatible Arc soundbars. The corporate’s important pair of music-focused audio system, the One and 5, nonetheless sound nice, however they’re getting just a little lengthy.

That modifications at the moment with two new choices: the Period 100 and the Period 300. The $250 Period 100 is a completely redesigned substitute for the One with various enhancements over its predecessor, whereas the $450 Period 300 is the primary Sonos speaker able to enjoying spatial sounds. Audio. As with most Sonos audio system, you should use a pair of those in stereo or as encompass again audio system in a house theater setup. When you have the Sonos Arc or gen-2 Beam and Sub, including a pair of Period 300s as rear surrounds provides you a wild 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos expertise. (When you’re keen to spend about $2,600 for that setup, anyway.)


The Period 300 seems to be like several speaker Sonos has launched earlier than it, although it nonetheless carries the corporate’s acquainted clear design language. Its considerably uncommon flipped hourglass form is basically useful: it permits the upward-facing tweeter to fireside at a slight however particular angle, which the corporate says will ship extra room-filling reflections for spatial audio. . There are three extra tweeters: one within the heart and forward-firing, in addition to two that time left and proper. Lastly, a pair of woofers on both sides of the speaker present loads of bass.

Gallery: Sonos Period 100 and Period 300 audio system | 10 Pictures

The Period 100, alternatively, is extra clearly a modification of the Sonos One, itself acoustically equivalent to the Sonos Play:1 that launched in 2013. Put one other means, an improve was lengthy overdue. The Period 100 includes a pair of tweeters for the left and proper stereo channels in a single speaker, in addition to a woofer that is 25 % bigger than the One’s. It might not have the spatial audio capabilities of the Period 300 , but it surely’s nonetheless a major improve from its predecessor.

Regardless of vastly totally different worth factors and capabilities, these two audio system have lots in widespread. Each function USB-C ports that can help you join a turntable or different audio gear with an elective line-in adapter. Extra importantly, each additionally embrace Bluetooth, the primary time Sonos has put the function on a non-portable speaker. Additionally they have a redesigned set of contact controls on high: as a substitute of touching both aspect of the play/pause button to regulate the quantity, there’s now just a little ridge you may slide your finger alongside, in addition to devoted buttons to skip ahead and again. again. Sonos additionally included a bodily swap to disconnect the microphones. This truly cuts the connection to the microphone for added safety, relatively than merely muting it through software program.

The new Sonos Era 100 speaker.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Each the Period 100 and Period 300 also can use these microphones for Trueplay tuning, optimizing audio for the place you place your audio system in your residing house. Beforehand, Trueplay required an iOS gadget; its microphone was used for listening to optimize the sound. When you used Android, you have been sadly out of luck. However although Sonos has been placing microphones on its audio system for years, you could not use them for Trueplay. This new function implies that much more individuals will probably make the most of the function; That is excellent news, as a result of Trueplay does make an enormous distinction.

Sonos Era 100 with turntable


I had an opportunity to hearken to each audio system in a wide range of configurations at a Sonos press occasion final month and, unsurprisingly, each sounded nice, however that was in a rigorously staged setting over which Sonos had full management. Clearly, we’ll should overview these audio system to see how they carry out in the actual world, however I used to be impressed with the quick demo I received. The Period 100 would not sound completely totally different to the One, however the bigger woofer undoubtedly provides it extra bass presence. The 2 tweeters do not present true stereo separation, being so shut to one another, however they undoubtedly present extra readability within the excessive ranges than you hear on the One.

The Period 300, nevertheless, sounds a bit totally different. Sonos confirmed us its chops for taking part in commonplace audio for the primary time, and it packs much more quantity, bass, and presence than the Period 100. Not shocking, contemplating it prices $200 extra and has twice as many drivers. We then heard how the only speaker fared when enjoying spatial audio tracks. They did not sound radically totally different, however they did not appear to be coming from a single level in a room; as a substitute, the audio was extra balanced and immersive. Of the few songs we heard, Finneas’s “A Live performance Six Months From Now” was essentially the most spectacular. His multi-coated focal lenses felt like they have been coming at me from a number of angles, but it surely did not really feel like a gimmick, it was only a extra immersive and intimate presentation.

The Sonos Era 300 speaker, with a focus on its redesigned touch control panel


Whatever the competitors, Sonos clearly sees spatial audio as the way forward for music playback. The corporate mentioned there’s loads of curiosity within the format from artists and producers, saying Period 300 can be the easiest way to listen to the small print of spatial audio mixes with out the necessity for a roomful of audio gear. In fact, there’s not a lot we are able to anticipate from a single speaker, irrespective of how superior its driver array. Up to now, Amazon and Apple are the 2 providers that Period 300 helps for spatial music, although Spotify, YouTube Music, and others are more likely to begin providing spatial audio sooner relatively than later.

In fact, the Period 300 can be an especially succesful speaker even when enjoying stereo mixes. As with the wonderful however costly Sonos 5 speaker, the Period 300 will probably be a extra specialised product within the firm’s lineup. But when the wave of spatial audio is about to peak, it is sensible for Sonos to be prepared for it relatively than catch up.

Replace, 10:15 a.m. ET: This story was up to date to notice that Sonos simply introduced the supply of Apple Music spatial audio along with Amazon Music Limitless help.

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Sonos is betting big on spatial audio with the $450 Era 300 speaker